Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION
Posted: 12/5/2012 1:00 AM | Comments: 0
NEW YORK -- Finally, some optimism.
A marathon day of collective bargaining meetings between NHL owners and players wrapped up with a sight not previously seen during the 12-week lockout -- deputy commissioner Bill Daly and NHLPA special counsel Steve Fehr standing beside one another at a podium talking about the progress made during negotiations.
"In some ways, I'd say it might be the best day we've had, which isn't too overly optimistic of a picture -- there's still a lot of work to do and a lot to be done," Fehr said after the sides broke just before midnight Tuesday. "We will be back at it tomorrow morning."
The league and union were expected to return to the bargaining table around 9 a.m. today, a couple hours before the start of a board of governors meeting. Daly said that event would go ahead as planned.
With commissioner Gary Bettman and NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr excusing themselves from the bargaining table, players and owners engaged in a stirring round of negotiations. Different variations of the group shuffled between rooms at a midtown Manhattan hotel as whispers of optimism circulated.
Penguins captain Sidney Crosby was among the 18 players who sat across from six team owners, which included Pittsburgh's Ron Burkle, and those two were said to be strong voices in the room, according to sources.
"Sid's a team guy," said a source close to Crosby. "He's about the game."
Even though Bettman and Donald Fehr stayed out of the official sessions, they were present at the hotel and held private sessions with their constituents.
It was hoped that an altered dynamic at the bargaining table might break the stalemate in talks. Bettman tabled the idea last week after the sides spent two unsuccessful days with U.S. federal mediators.
Four of the owners in attendance were taking part in their first bargaining session -- Burkle, Winnipeg's Mark Chipman, Toronto's Larry Tanenbaum and Tampa's Jeff Vinik -- and were accompanied by Boston's Jeremy Jacobs and Calgary's Murray Edwards, both part of the NHL's negotiating committee.
The players in attendance represented a cross-section of the NHLPA's membership.
Stars like Crosby, Jonathan Toews, Ryan Miller and Brad Richards joined the likes of Ron Hainsey, Mathieu Darche and Kevin Westgarth, who have been heavily involved throughout the summer.
"I appreciate the efforts of the players in particular -- we had 18 players in there today and six of the owners," said Daly. "I think everybody is working hard, I think everybody wants to get a deal done, so I think that's encouraging.
"We look forward to hopefully making more progress tomorrow."
There appeared to be a heightened sense of urgency around negotiations, with the league's board of governors scheduled to gather today and more cancellations expected by the end of the week. All regular-season games through Dec. 14, plus the Winter Classic and all-star game, have already been wiped off the schedule.
Money remains the biggest issue for the sides to bridge.
Even though both the league and union have proposed a 50-50 split of revenues, they remain separated on payments to be made outside the system to help ease the transition from the previous deal, which saw players receive 57 per cent. The NHL has offered $211 million in deferred compensation while the union has asked for $393 million.
There are also a number of rules governing player contracts that must be worked out before a new CBA is signed.
"We're going to work hard to try and get a deal," said Daly.
Business down near NHL arenas
THE NHL lockout is forcing some merchants near hockey arenas into the penalty box but giving power plays to others farther afield, says a report issued Tuesday.
The report by credit and debit card processor Moneris found overall spending at venues near arenas in Winnipeg, Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal and Calgary has decreased more than 11 per cent from a year ago on a game day.
Drinking establishments are being hit hardest, with business falling nearly 35 per cent.
Merchants away from arenas, however, have been benefiting from the 11-week labour dispute, with spending up 5.4 per cent from a game day in 2011.
-- The Canadian Press
Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 5, 2012 D1
Having problems with the form?Contact Us Directly
Horcoff lifts Stars over Oilers in shootout
Talbot, Rangers edge Hurricanes for 6th win in row
Bruins rally for 4-3 overtime win against Sabres
Kane leads Blackhawks past Maple Leafs 4-0
Iginla helps Avalanche beat Red Wings 2-1 in shootout
McDavid, Lazar in spotlight tonight
More to Cane than famous name
Burns gives Sharks 3-2 win over Blues in OT
Pouliot scores in debut, Pens beat Panthers 3-1
Carolina activates Semin from IR
Hansen leaves game after collapsing on bench
Rinne picks up 21st win as Predators beat Wild 6-5 in OT
Johnson lifts Blue Jackets over Blackhawks in SO
Pouliot scores in debut, Pens beat Panthers 3-1
Gallagher goal lifts Habs over Sens 4-1
Giroux, Voracek lead Flyers over Leafs
Correction: Rangers-Hurricanes story
Islanders rally late, stun Lightning 3-1
Tanguay scores 2 goals, Avalanche beat Sabres 5-1
Holtby, Backstrom lead Capitals past Devils
Gardiner healthy scratch against Philadelphia
Kings score twice on PP to beat Coyotes 4-2
Rangers, backup G Talbot agree to 1-year extension
Short-handed Jackets lose Jenner for 1-2 months
Sabres recall Grigorenko for game against Avs
Hoffman leads Senators in win over Ducks
Hutchinson leads Jets to win over Bruins
Islanders edge Red Wings 2-1
Kinkaid wins first, Devils snap slide with 3-2
Detroit's Howard leaves with lower body injury
Howe's family reports rapid improvement
Gibbons injured, Blue Jackets recall Wennberg, Goloubef
Kings defenceman Robyn Regehr on injured reserve
Predators recall Stalberg, put Paul Gaustad on IR
Penguins Olli Maatta tests positive for mumps
Montoya has mixed emotions about Cuba
LA Kings erase 3-goal deficit, move past Blues 6-4